FGC:Episode 03 Scene 01

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Training


Commentary Navigation
<< Back to Episode #02 Episode #03 Scene List Continue to Scene 02 >>
Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

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001
A closeup of Shinji emerges, an intense light coming from overhead. He glances up, expressionless. The lighting stabilizes and finally settles down.
Incisivis: Some of us do like this episode. Some good character moments in it.


HeWhoPostsStuff: "Ohhh whether you're a mother or whether you're a brother you're staaayin' alive, staaayin' alive…"


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002
Shinji, inside Eva's entry plug.

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Good morning, Shinji-kun. How are you?”

SE <<Cockpit interior sound (fade-in)>>

His words are disinterested in tone.

Shinji:“I'm getting used to it. I think it's tolerable.”

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“That's good. Have you memorized all of the Eva emergence points, emergency power sources, armament building locations, and recovery spots?”

Shinji:“Maybe.”

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Then, let's review one more time.”

Shin-seiki: Ritsuko here, as is so often the case, is serving as a conduit for background information and exposition for the audience's benefit (sort of like Basil Exposition in Austin Powers).


Keisuke-kun: It's interesting to note that the level of learning required for piloting the Eva is kinda like school. Japanese students are under constant pressure to study — and when they're done, they study some more. The Japanese school system is basically preparation for the tests required to get into high school, college, and finally to get a job. It all requires a lot of very serious study, and some students can't handle the stress, which is why Japan has the highest suicide rate (last I checked). The way Shinji has to memorize all of the Eva features, exits, weapon depots, etc., is a similar expectation.


TheUserName: As demonstrated in the last episode, the plugsuit isn't required for synchronization with the Eva, only those clips that are attached to the head. I can only assume that they monitor and transmit the pilot's thoughts and brainwave patterns to the Eva, in order for her to be active (at least until she goes berserk). The plug suit then, must serve as some sort of protective field gear.


Reichu: Actually, the "clips" are not clips at all, but the visible parts of the "Interface Headset". The entire thing is never (AFAIK) seen in the show, but there are at least two depictions of it about: A production drawing of Shinji's and [[|File:Hasegawa pilots crop.jpg|an illustration by Shinya Hasegawa]] featuring Rei's. Shinji and Rei's are of the same make, but Asuka's are clearly different; hers could well be clips, since she apparently uses them like large barettes to hold her hair back.

This seems like an opportune time to throw in a few tidbits on the plugsuits. To save myself some initial effort, here's the entry from the Death & Rebirth Deluxe Program:

The special clothing worn by Eva pilots which works to raise the synchronization rate. When boarding Eva, the pilots generally put on this suit and attach interface headsets to their heads. This suit is molded as a single piece covering from neck to toe, and has a structure similar to a wet-suit. Although rather loose immediately after it is put on, clicking on a switch on the wrist adheres the suit to the body and allows easy movement. Various information can also be obtained from a hand monitor display on the back of the hand. There are various types (D-type, etc.) depending on the operation.

The idea that the plug suit has some kind of noteworthy effect on synchronization is something that gets thrown out the window when it suits the creators (consult episodes #19 and #26'). The rest of the time, exactly how a glorified wet-suit "works to raise the synchronization rate" is just one of those things you accept without questioning…

Additionally, the plugsuit allows the pilot's various vital statistics to be monitored, along with providing some life support measures in emergency situations (such as a built-in heating function and even a defibrillator).


Hexon.Arq: The suits are probably made out of latex. The gloves might have some lining in them, but it's pretty hard to suck the air out of a wet-suit underlining without having all kinds of lumps.


Reichu: Anticipate a supplemental feature on Eva-Pilot technical minutiae later, where the above stuff will eventually resettle.


Hexon.Arq: What exactly is a "recovery spot"? Do we ever see them in the series? From the sound of it, I'm reminded of something from a video game where you stand still and regenerate HP, but its applicability here seems absurd.


Reichu: Not THAT kind of 'recovery', silly. "Calling-back", "collection", "withdrawal", etc. Misato tells Shinji to retreat to a "Recovery Route 280" later this episode


003
A closeup of the Eva's power outlet is inserted here.

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Normally, the Eva runs off electric power supplied by a cable.”

Reichu: The full name of this doodad (the cord part, anyhow) is "umbilical cable", which is a fairly obvious reference to the umbilical cord of in utero mammal youngsters -- with the difference that those of most mammals don't come out of their backs. ;;p Says the D&R Deluxe Program Book:

Incidentally, "UMBILICAL CABLE (cord)" means the blood vessels which extend from baby's navel to the placenta of its mother's womb. Thus, like a baby receives nutrients through this umbilical cord, Evangelion receives electric power through the umbilical cable.


Mr. Tines: The use of "umbilical" as a fancier name for what in everyday use we'd refer to as an extension cord is quite common in military and space contexts — see e.g. here.


Hexon.Arq: I've always been curious as to what is ultimately on the other end of that thing. Granted they do feed out of the sides of buildings, but I'm a bit disappointed that more was not made of this thematic name-calling. Should there have been a depiction of a Mother Generator? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks so. Shukkins.


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002 (ctd.)
Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“In emergencies, it can switch to an internal battery with an active life of one minute at full power, and no more than five minutes using gain mode. This is the limitation of our technology. Do you understand?”

Shinji:“Yes…”

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Then, continuing from where we left off yesterday, we'll initiate Induction Mode.”

Reichu: The "limitation" refers to how long the 'internal battery' lasts. Considering some of the completely wacky things they can accomplish technologically in this show, it's odd that they wouldn't have overcome this particular hurdle.


Hexon.Arq: Oh sure, that's the limitation.


Mr. Tines: This is one of the items which stuck with more plausible technology, in fact. Battery technology — indeed, energy storage in general — is one of those bits of neat sci-fi tech that just haven't come to pass.


OMF: But I wonder why directors put in such weaknesses in "giant robots" at all. The most obvious reason is that it "keeps things interesting", although I think it's best summed up in the following interchange from Metal Gear Solid (regarding a mecha called Metal Gear Rex):

Snake: You intentionally designed it with a weak point?

Otacon: It's not a weak point. I like to think of it as a character flaw. People just aren't complete without some type of character flaw, don't you think?


Reichu: This particular "weakness" actually makes sense within the NGE universe. Evas require huge amounts of energy to move. Instead of bothering to feed them and let them produce this energy via metabolism, Nerv just pumps raw electricity into them. This electricity has to come from somewhere, hence the umbilical cable.

Exactly how an Eva makes use of this raw electric power is another matter altogether. Pending an appendix on this subject, I'll just throw in some food for thought: An Angel's entire body is powered by the S2 Organ, which resides within the core. (The proofs for this — and the matter of precisely why the pre-harpy Evas inherently lack the S2 — will come later.) The core logically must possess some means of distributing that energy to the cells (or the closest thing, anyway) of the body. But what if the energy was not generated locally, but was instead channeled in from somewhere else…?

Here, Ritsuko says only "gain", but ADV's subtitles expand it to "minimal activity gain mode", presumably for those of us who have no idea what "gain" means. The manga explains "Induction Mode" as "trigger priority mode: placing priority on gun operations rather than brainwave synchronization". Sounds pretty useless, if you ask me…

From this angle, we can see how the cockpit's upper and lower side screens (as seen back in episode #01) wrap around the plug interior. This is the first time we see the pop-up "windows", as well. I have no idea what function they are serving here, but their most common usage later on is to provide video chat boxes with other Eva pilots or members of the bridge.


Hexon.Arq: So many screens. Being that this is practice, could they be stats? I don't think they are ever implemented to that extent ever again.


Mr. Tines: I'm guessing here they must serve as instrument panels of some sort.


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004
A counter begins counting down from 5:00:00. Meanwhile, the monitor's color changes.

SE <<(startup sound)>>

Shin-seiki: (002~004) This crap about the Eva being able to run at full power off the battery for only one minute is set forth here, only to be disregarded just about every time it comes up later in the series. That is, the Evas, for all practical purposes, have a five minute operating margin, not just one minute (see, for example, #25').


Dr. Nick: My guess is that "full power" mode is only needed when the Evas need to perform really insane athletic feats, such as jumping ridiculously high (episodes #08 and #09).


Reichu: EVA-02 manages to do that — and much more — in #25', while still retaining five minutes' worth of juice. Also, the three sprinting Evas in #12 were powered for five minutes. There's clearly something funny going on.


OMF: I doubt that—like the Eva's height—there is really any consistency with the charge on the internal batteries. They simply run out at whatever time the director feels would be the most dramatic.


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005
Eva abruptly readies her pallet gun.
Soluzar: Why 'pallet' gun?


Reichu: Yeah, I've wondered that myself. The only dictionary definition for "pallet" I can find that even goes near the domain we're talking about is this:

A projection on a machine part, such as a pawl for controlling the motion of a ratchet wheel in a watch escapement, that engages the teeth of a ratchet wheel to convert reciprocating motion to rotary motion or vice versa.

Uhhhh… That's real helpful. There's got to be SOME sort of reason for the name. Or maybe these Eva weapons are just supposed to have generally incomprehensible names, so long as they "sound cool". (To a Japanese audience, anyhow.)


Hexon.Arq: I would think you could call it something much cooler than "Pallet Gun". It makes it sound like a daffodil-shaped contraption that fires ping-pong balls.


HeWhoPostsStuff: Maybe it's pseudo-Engrish for "pellet?" Still doesn't sound particularly threatening though… which make it rather appropriate since the weapon turns out to be all but useless, heh.


Reichu: "Useless" on all but the poorest excuse for an Angel, ol' #09 in episode #11.


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006
Eva stands in the middle of a group of pure white buildings. The Angel faces her.

SE <<Countdown sound against background noise>>

Hexon.Arq: Ah, level three of the simulator — Sentai Styrofoam Showdown.


Reichu: While they go for all-out virtual reality here, the simulation is somewhat more underwhelming in the manga, where Sachiel and the buildings look like relics of clunky polygon video games (e.g., "Star Fox").


HeWhoPostsStuff: But if that were the case, then Shinji would have to read an onscreen display of what Misato and Ritsuko were telling him, since their voices would only be heard as funny-sounding gibberish, thanks to the limits of the Evangelion's 16-bit technology.


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007
Level Meter, the bicos move in response to Ritsuko's voice.

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Position the target in the center…”


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008
Eva display. The mark moves up and down, left and right.

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“…Then switch 'on'!”


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009
Shinji pulling the grip trigger UP (with little force).
Soluzar: This, I never understood. It's a gun. She's holding it in her hands. Hence, Shinji surely should just think 'pull trigger' and presto! Why the need for mechanical triggers?


Reichu: I guess this relates back to Shin-seiki's comment in episode #02, C-192B. At least pulling on a trigger is one of the few actions these pilots can do seated that actually corresponds to what the Eva does.


Soluzar: So perhaps the triggers in the cockpit are just dummies, to make it easier for the pilots to control the real Eva's hands? That sounds very plausible, now you mention it.


Hexon.Arq: If the arms were bound strictly to these "butterfly controls", I could just picture Eva only being able to do some kind of funky "pogo stick" dance. I suppose attaching control gloves to the seat would have been too much work to utilize in every entry plug scene. That would have been interesting, Shinji's fingers spasming in the control gloves as the entrails of Eva… well, you'll see.


OMF: Maybe the triggers are just a failsafe, to ensure that megatonnes of firepower doesn't accidentally go off as the pilot is thinking about their next move.


Dr. Nick: (Megatonnes = exaggeration to the max.)


Reichu: I'm not so sure about that. EVA-02 depletes all of the positron rifle's ammo in #22, and without Asuka even touching the triggers. (But then, if there's any substance to my pet theory about that sequence…)


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010
As quick as a flash, she fires.


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011
The shots go over the target.


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012
Shinji's right eye UP. The target is reflected on his pupil.

Ritsuko (OFF - radio):“Calm down. Position the target in the center.”

Shinji whispers in a monotone voice.

Shinji:“Switch. (bleed)”

Shin-seiki: [sarcasm]Geeze… He can hardly contain his enthusiasm.[/sarcasm]


OMF: He's not the world's most motivated pilot, that's for sure.


Reichu: He's not the world's most motivated ANYTHING.


Dr. Nick: Reminds me of my own military training.


Sharp-kun: This will be Shinji's downfall later in the episode. He isn't actually learning anything that will help him in combat, just repeating the same thing again and again. The only reason he gets away with it is because Nerv's simulations are so basic.


Soluzar: BTW, reflections in the eyes of a character are a somewhat recurring motif.


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013a
He pulls the trigger.


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013b
Eva fires.
Dr. Nick: The pallet gun closely resembles a Steyr ACR, an advanced Austrian assault rifle. And this is not the only occurence of such "product placement" in NGE — we'll meet another and much more famous oversized real-life firearm in episode #16.


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014
On the monitor screen, the Angel takes a direct hit and collapses, exploding.
Shin-seiki: Wow, the computer simulation Sachiel has been somehow persuaded to not utilize his A.T. Field.


Sharp-kun: As I said, Nerv's simulations are spectacularly underwhelming.


Reichu: Shinji would have gotten more practical combat training with "Duck Hunt". At least THOSE targets move.


Hexon.Arq: I'm certain I've had experiences like Shinji's while playing a video game, probably to unlock some secret goodie that requires loads of brain-dead repetition. Of course, Shinji gets bupkiss for this.


Soluzar: Considering that it's a cardboard Angel, and doesn't have an A.T. Field, what is the point, exactly? I can see that Shinji needs to get better at target practice, but I bet the juice to activate an Eva costs about a trillion bucks a minute!


Reichu: (Perhaps they should consider using a more efficient power source, like propane. ;;>)


Dr. Nick: Well, in Stratos 4 the Meteor Sweeper pilots used to practice their sharp-shooting skills at a normal rifle-range, which is not very plausible either — I mean, how does it help you to fire a big-ass homing missile any more accurately?


Reichu: The creators of this simulation at least have prognosticated the tendency of some later Angels to enigmatically explode at the moment of death. Sachiel doesn't count, IMO, since his explosion seems to have been a more conscious, last-ditch "If I'm going to die anyway, I'll at least try to take you with me!" kamikaze sort of thing. Whereas the others, well, just keel over and blow up.


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015
It reflects on the Eva.

Ritsuko (OFF - SP):“…Next.”


016
Missing Number


017
Missing Number


018
Missing Number


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019
Ritsuko watches below, the reflection of the monitor in her eyes. The light of the explosion reflects on her two times.
Shin-seiki: This sort of close-up, with the harsh, unnatural lighting, is utilized here, and in scenes in other episodes, to achieve a certain impersonal, dehumanized, "Kubrick-esque" effect…


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020
Ritsuko and Ibuki in the dim monitor room. Eva outside the window in a large hall, leveling her rifle at a different target. Cords for measurement are attached all over her body.

SE <<Firing sound>>

SE <<Sound of electronic machinery>>

Mr. Tines: This is the one and only time that an Eva gets to play in the Holodeck/Danger Room. And one of the few times an Eva is active outside of a combat situation.


Soluzar: Two reasons, in my mind, Tines-san: First, there is the cost (to Nerv) of each activation, and second, it's not exactly riveting TV.


Reichu: Considering EVA-01 is really standing in this bland testing facility, the cockpit's visuals are clearly coming from the computer simulation. (Yet another hint as to the entirely mechanical, as opposed to neurological, origin of the screen input.)


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021
She is not actually on a street lined with large buildings. In the stark, giant hall without the sound of the gun or explosions, only the sounds of footsteps and movement resound.
Reichu: This is a mockup of the real Pallet Gun, which we'll be seeing more of in part B. I presume it would be useless in actual combat, unless it were possible to "blink" the Angels to death…


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022
Ritsuko and Ibuki monitoring Eva. Ibuki looks at Ritsuko.

SE <<Continuous explosion sounds, movement of electronic machinery sounds (explosion sounds at the beginning of the cut)>>

Ibuki:“But I wonder how Shinji-kun brought himself to pilot it.”

Ritsuko:“He just obediently goes along with what others say. That's his secret of success in life…”

Shin-seiki: It's fair to say that Ritsuko is reading Shinji "like a book" here, yet this episode will prove that Shinji is capable of acting on his own initiative (however psychotic he seems while doing so…).


Soluzar: Shinji can have his stroppy moments, as Ritsuko will find out. I think it would be more true to say (knowing what we know at the end of the series) that he tries to please everyone as much as possible, in the pursuit of praise. That's really his reason for living.


Reichu: The catch, of course, is that he wants praise without emotional risk — i.e., without having to get close to anyone. It's okay if he dies, but heaven forbid he should have to really connect with his fellow human beings in any way. Whoops, I'm getting ahead of things here, aren't I?


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023
Ritsuko in front, Misato further in. She looks at the monitor with her arms crossed.

Ritsuko:“…isn't it?”


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A dubious Misato glances up.

Misato:“…”

Hexon.Arq: I guess it was just wishful thinking that some kind of improvement like that implemented in Death, if not the same cut, would be used for this scene in Renewal. (Of course, there are probably purists who are attached to it looking this way.)


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025
Shinji super-UP.

His speech is subdued and lethargic. The light from the explosions reflects on him.

SE <<Sounds of continuous firing and explosions>>

Shinji:“Target in the center, pull the switch.

Target in the center, pull the switch.

Target in the center, pull the switch.”

(repeat until C-027)

thewayneiac: "Now I'm feeling zombiefied. Now I'm feeling zombiefied..."


Soluzar: ph34r Robo-Shinji!!! :D


Shin-seiki: Uh, Shinji, the idea is that you pilot a "robot", not that you are one…


Reichu: …unless you manage to get kicked by EVA-02 in Girlfriend of Steel 2. (Do you really want to know? )


HeWhoPostsStuff: I think he looks more corpse-like than anything else… The way those shadows are placed make his face look bony and stretched, almost zombie-esque.


Reichu: In any event, you rarely see his eyes this vacant-looking.


tv33: Considering he is playing what is probably the most advanced video game in the world, you would think he'd be more excited…


Reichu: An ordinary boy Shinji is not.


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026
Shinji's words are like that of an automatic machine. He pulls the trigger.


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027
Closeup of that. His index finger pulls the trigger with a bit of force. The screen goes dark.
Soluzar: Closeup shots of hands seem to be another favourite of Anno, as Reichu mentioned in the OP.


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Title A
SUBTITLE

The Phone That Doesn't Ring Episode #03

Commentary Navigation
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Episode 02: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 03: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 04: Scene 01 | Scene 02:A |Scene 02:B | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 05: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 06: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 07: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Scene 10 | Previews